No fire but all bang this New Year as a food festival replaces Melbourne's fireworks

Bar Lourinha chef Matt McConnell (left) clinks glasses with Lord Mayor Sally Capp outside his CBD restaurant.
Bar Lourinha chef Matt McConnell (left) clinks glasses with Lord Mayor Sally Capp outside his CBD restaurant. Photo: Chris Hopkins

Got plans for New Year? You do now. In a dual effort to revive the CBD and also reduce the annual crush of bodies as everyone crams into one space to see the fireworks, the annual display has been ditched in favour of a two-day food festival, a collaboration between City of Melbourne and the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival.

The full program was released today and will see dozens of city restaurants throwing street feasts in 11 closed-off laneways and streets from Spring Street down to Docklands.

What's your flavour? On one end of the spectrum, Pellegrini's is offering a sweet family deal of lasagne and tiramisu, and Supernormal is serving a suckling pig bo ssam on the street.

Meanwhile, Cecconi's has decided to go for a last-days-of-Rome blowout, with a $1000-a-head party of eight courses with premium wine, beluga caviar, dustings of gold leaf and floral garlands to take home.

The two-day festival runs from December 31-January 1 and tickets (heavily advised) are now available via melbournefoodandwine.com.au.